[Retros] non-FEN fun

Joost de Heer joost at sanguis.xs4all.nl
Mon Aug 19 17:46:10 EDT 2013

On 08/19/2013 07:10 PM, Noam Elkies wrote:

> As it happens Chessbase.com just ran this article


> http://www.chessbase.com/Home/TabId/211/PostId/4010825/the-infamous-1999-chessbase-christmas-puzzle-160813.aspx


> on its first "Christmas puzzle" ever, which asked in 1999 for

> a legal came starting 1 e4 and ending 5...NxR#. [What's the

> source for this puzzle? I don't think it's given in the

> Chessbase article but surely somebody on this mailing list knows it.]

> This is very hard for most human players, even though the solution

> is not quite unique. But it's not the only such puzzle. Another,

> which *does* have a unique solution, starts with 1 a3 and ends

> on move 5 with White giving mate with a Rook. I don't know

> the composer/discoverer of this either, but I first saw it

> decades ago in a column by Pal Benko. Are there other such examples

> known, or discoverable by computer now that F.Labelle is active again

> (welcome back!)? There's of course 1 h4 ... 6 PxB=N#, which is unique

> even without specifying the first move; and Labelle found a few more

> such examples (all shorter) determined completely by their last move.

> But I figure that specifying both first and last move should allow for

> a greater and hopefully even more interesting selection of puzzles.

I didn't know the a3 one, but it wasn't very hard to solve. Can it be
altered to 'White's first move was with a knight, and he mates on the
fifth move with his rook. Game?'?

Alain Brobecker has done a little research in this field, but mainly
fairy chess and not multiple moves. Per Olin has done a few of thpse.

See e.g. http://abrobecker.free.fr/chess/synthetics.htm


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